Developer: FYQD Personal Studio
Genre: First-Person Shooter
Reviewed On: PlayStation 5
Also Available For: PC, iOS, Android, Xbox Series, Nintendo Switch
The Basics: Bright Memory: Infinite is a first-person-shooter game with an emphasis on quick, hectic, and over-the-top action. The game follows a special operative for a science organization named Shelia as she fights her way through a military organization and time-travelling (maybe?) warriors on her way to close a black hole that’s opened over the countryside. It’s a bit of a nonsense plot with clunky dialogue that is at least partially the result of some less-than-stellar translation work, but the protagonist can reflect bullets with her sword and has a robo-gauntlet, so the writing isn’t really what’s most important here.
If nothing else, the gameplay of Bright Memory is fun. The player runs along a very linear path from encounter to encounter, using a combination of firearms, sword skills, and mechanically enhanced punches to annihilate large groups of enemies in spectacularly violent and often quite brutal fashion. Even on the highest difficulty the game is a bit of a cakewalk, allowing the player to feel like a badass carving through faceless stormtrooper types with increasing efficiency as they unlock more skills and upgrades to make things even easier. In short, it’s a fun action-movie romp.
Unfortunately, that’s the extent of the praise I can give to Bright Memory: Infinite. It’s strong praise, to be sure, but the game has its share of flaws, most notably its extraordinarily short length. A playthrough of the game, start to finish, takes not even three hours and unless you’re an achievement hunter there’s nothing in the way of replay value. I am thankful, I suppose, that it isn’t ten to fifteen hours long, given that it would have certainly overstayed its welcome at that length, but this is too far in the other direction; even four or five hours would have felt better than barely more than two.
Another major issue the game has is stability issues. During the first playthrough I tried to complete I encountered a game breaking bug which completely reset all my upgrade progress including taking away my ability to perform basic moves such as the sword slash or aiming down the sights of weapons without sending the entire screen into an insane glitchy state. Even after restarting the game, the issues persisted, and I was ultimately forced to delete both the game and its save data from my console, then reinstall the application before being able to try again. In this instance, at least, the short length of game was a kind of mercy, but I later learned that the point at which the game broke was quite close to the end, which was a frustration in its own right. Even putting that aside, this sort of stability issue is a major mark against the game.
On a more subjective note, I take issue with game’s presentation. Though the designs and character models are well rendered enough, they are lifeless in the way that only hyper-realistic graphics aiming for perfect verisimilitude can be, a quality which is definitely not helped by the clunky animations which characterize a majority of the models. Moreover, the game includes a number of absolutely absurd costumes for protagonist Shelia which are quite objectifying to say the least. There’s also a brief segment where the player takes control of an “assault vehicle” that turns out to be just a regular car which, while not exactly terrible, was baffling enough to render me speechless in the moment of first seeing it.
Though Bright Memory: Infinite is fun in a mindless carnage sort of way, it has very little to offer beyond that, and even that offer is limited in its scope. The nonsense story and slightly clunky look of the game might have been made up for by a longer runtime, but as it stands the result is a game not nearly worth its asking price.
Well designed action isn't quite enough to save Bright Memory: Infinite from the pitfalls of its writing or length.